5 Tips on drawing realistically


If you're a wannabe artist who's struggling a little bit in drawing realism then, as a fellow art student, I'm giving you 5 tips on drawing realistic objects!

1. First, have good pencils. This is going to sound obvious, but it's true. No matter what medium you work with in art, you must have good, quality materials so your results can be a good, quality finished piece.

Pencils that I do recommend for good, quality finished realistic drawings are Faber Castell sketching pencils, the sketching pencils that they sell in WHSmith, Derwent pencils and Staedtler pencils (as shown in the image above of my proud 4-hours-worth drawing of an eye). They usually come in packs with 5 pencils, graded from 4H to 3B (the lightest pencil to the darkest pencil). These are the pencils that I personally use but if you don't have these, then make the most of what you already have!

2. Start off with a lighter pencil/hand. When drawing something, always start off light then gradually go darker. This makes it easier to erase any mistakes you made when drawing your rough outline - it is a nightmare erasing a drawing where you pressed too hard!

You can draw with a light pencil, like a 4H or HB pencil, then what I do is swap pencil to a much darker pencil like 2B (I also use this pencil to shade). If you don't have different graded pencils, then draw with a light hand and then press slightly harder on the paper to go darker!

3. Measure, then outline. When drawing a person, outlining guidelines will help you a looong way! This method will make your portrait more proportionate and, therefore, realistic.

From fuckyeaharttutorials.tumblr.com

4. Have high quality source material. This is something that I hear in every art class from my teacher. He tells us that high quality art studies come from high quality source material. Which true though. I mean, if you're drawing an animal from a crappy photo on your Blackberry then you're going to struggle drawing it because you can't see the details of the picture. Print the image you're drawing, large and high quality, on nice paper. This will make drawing that animal easier!

5. Polish your drawings. Once you finished, take your drawing and compare it with the image you drew it from and see if you need some polishing to - e.g. make that shading darker, add more eyelashes on that eye, etc. Reviewing and perfecting your drawing will ensure that it is proportionate and looks like your image.

So there you have it! 5 useful tips that you can use when you're drawing realism! You don't need to follow these tips as these methods may not apply to everyone, but these are just what I do whenever I draw.

You can see my other art tips here if you'd like!

I hope you find these useful and happy drawing!

Nicole ᵔ


  1. Thanks for the tips!I really like your blog.


    1. I'm glad they helped! And thank you c:

      x Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ


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